KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
4th December 2015
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Arcelik Group, one of the leading players in the global home appliances industry and parent company of Beko, has been awarded an AA rating in the MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital International) Global Sustainability Index Series. This latest accolade reinforces the company's, 'Respects the Globe, Respected Globally' vision which focuses on delivering sustainable efficiency and excellence throughout all its business processes.
Signalling the next generation of sophisticated bathroom storage, Xenon comprises a sleek double-sided mirrored cabinet finished off with a luxury LED lighting trim. The result is an uber modern feel, guaranteed to make a boldly contemporary style statement in even the simplest of bathroom designs.
I’d had no idea that this week is ‘National Empty Homes Week 2015’ - which is a shame, as this industry is one that will in most cases be needed to bring empty homes back to a habitable standard and I daresay that you may have been involved in terms of supplying furniture, fixtures, fittings and appliances, or possibly the design expertise or labour to bring projects to completion. If you are or have been involved, I’d love to hear from you.
This September, ‘Empty Homes’ launched its report ‘Empty Homes in England’ with its latest analysis based on Government data which shows over 200,000 long-term vacant dwellings (that is homes unoccupied for over six months) in England and over 600,000 total empty homes. This waste of potential housing is despite the last Government introducing, in 2011, dedicated empty homes programmes to support housing providers and community organisations to create affordable homes from empty properties.
These programmes enabled housing providers and community organisations to buy or lease long-term empty properties and renovate and repair them so that they could be brought back into use as affordable housing.
Apparently by the end of March 2015, this funding enabled local groups to create almost 6,000 new homes from empty property – providing apprenticeship and training opportunities as well as more homes and better neighbourhoods for local people.
The programmes ended in March and Empty Homes is asking the new Government to invest in bringing empty homes back into use through new dedicated funding streams. It is also calling on it to further reduce the rate of VAT charged on works needed to bring empty homes up to habitable standards. This is currently charged at 5% for homes that have been empty for two years or more.
Bearing in mind the housing crisis we’re now experiencing, with cash-strapped councils facing escalating costs to place growing numbers of homeless families in hotels and bed & breakfast facilities, one would think that with the huge stock of empty properties available, it would make sense for the Government to reduce VAT more than it has, wouldn’t it?
If properties are empty because refurbishment costs are prohibitive, lowering VAT – even just for local authority and charity developers, will help solve the housing crisis and will eventually boost the economy.
Well it makes sense to me, anyway!
This Week's News
Renowned Polish white goods manufacturer Amica Wronki S.A, has acquired 100% of the shares in the Nottinghamshire-based CDA Group. As the largest acquisition in Amica's 70-year history, the purchase - valued at £24.3 million - significantly strengthens the company's position in Western Europe.
The European Water Label has won its 5th award in as many years and, needless to say, its supporters and partners across Europe are delighted! Against strong competition from the likes of Essex & Suffolk Water, Royal Haskoning DHV and Illman Young Architects, the European Water Label took the prized SWIG Award at a breakfast ceremony in London last week.
SWIG - the Sustainable Water Industry Group - was conceived in 2008 by a group that came together with the idea of applying some 'whole system thinking' to sustainable water management. Participants include manufacturers, installers, professionals, consultants, designers, academics and others from across the industry.
Given the chance, over half of UK householders would locate the flush away from the traditional area behind the toilet, according to latest research by Geberit. Responding to this demand, new Geberit remote flush buttons offer a flexible, practical and simple to fit solution to the siting of flush buttons for wall-hung installation.
The survey revealed that 30% of homeowners would prefer to site the flush to the left or right of the WC, rather than directly behind it, with many people even keen on the idea of siting it by the bathroom door, ready for flushing on their way out.
"It's hot". "It's filtered". "Something hot coming soon". These are just some of the animated messages written on a steamy background giving a day-to-day, minute-by-minute and second-by-second countdown of when this exciting new product will be launched - on January 4th.
As part of a major refurbishment of a semi-derelict four-bedroom home and adjoining coach house, Adam and Sarah Johnson saw the opportunity to add an 83sq.m rear extension that includes a kitchen and open plan living area. To help create the industrial look they wanted they chose steel windows and doors from Steel Window Association Member, Monk Metal Windows.
When the Johnsons, who have two children, bought the 150-year-old property in Harborne - a suburb of Birmingham, they were keen to develop some of the design ideas that they had gained developing The Plough at Harborne, the pub that they also own in the village. One of the trends they had noticed in bars and restaurants, particularly in London, was the use of steel windows and doors.
A third of small construction firms are being put off from taking on apprentices because of the bureaucracy involved, according to a new research report 'Defusing the skills time bomb' published this week by the Federation of Master Builders.
"The construction industry is in the midst of a skills crisis which can only be solved if more employers take on apprentices," says Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB.
Designed to simplify waste sorting, the Oeko range comprises high quality plastic bins in 40, 17, 6 and 1.2 litre capacities and in a number of different combinations. The fitted frame and sophisticated anthracite colour gives the system a neat and attractive appearance and ensures that waste falls directly into the bag and not elsewhere.
In keeping with the traditional style and classic design ethos of the collection, the 60cm cooker offers customers a practical space-saving option.
Keith joins the company as the latest member of a dedicated sales force who share responsibility for providing retail customers across the country with excellent levels of service and promoting sales of Aqata's innovative range of luxury shower enclosures, showers and shower trays.
Uform has recently supported its UK retailer Williams Inspirations in its campaign to raise much needed funds for a Sierra Leone-based children's charity, 'The Oaks' with a kitchen prize from the Kitchen Stori brand.
To support the launch of its new showroom in Ellesmere Port, Williams Inspirations' embarked on a fundraising initiative to assist with funds for the 'family and friends' charity, which helps to provide education to underprivileged youngsters in the West of Africa.
Now Amy is set to be honoured with a new mass engagement public art project, 'A Moth for Amy' as part of plans to mark the 75th anniversary of her tragic death in 2016 - and part of the project involves expertise from Ideal Standard's designers.
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Ian Hall, joint managing director, comments: "Steve has in effect been fulfilling this role at Utopia since 2013 and we are now very pleased to recognise this formally.